# 23 Strategies to Help Learners Who Have Trouble Understanding Operational Signs While Working Math Problems Are you looking for strategies to help students who have trouble understanding operational signs while working math problems? If so, keep reading.

1. Assess the appropriateness of the task to determine (a) if the task is too easy, (b) if the task is too complicated, and (c) if the duration of time scheduled for the task is sufficient.

2. Get the student to practice recognizing operational symbols.

3. Utilize a written reminder beside math problems to indicate what math operation is to be used (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). As the student shows success, slowly lessen the use of reminders.

4. Widen the math operation symbols next to the problems so the student will be more likely to observe the symbol.

5. Color-code math operation symbols next to math problems so the student will be more likely to observe the symbol.

6. Make the student go through the math problems on each daily task highlighting or otherwise marking the operation of each problem before they begin to solve them.

7. Complete the first problem or two of the math assignment for the student so they know what operation to use.

8. Utilize a separate piece of paper for each type of math problem. As the student shows success, slowly introduce various types of math problems on the same page.

9. Put the math operation symbols randomly around the room and have the student practice identifying the operation involved as they point to the symbol.

10. Get the student to solve their math problems using a calculator.

11. Give the student a math operation symbol reference sheet to keep and use at their desk (e.g., + means add, – means subtract, x means multiply, ÷ means divide).

12. At the top of each sheet of math problems, give a math operational symbol reminder for the student (e.g., + means add, – means subtract, x means multiply, + means divide).

13. Get the student to practice matching math operation symbols to the word identifying the operation using flash cards (e.g., +, -, x, ÷ for add, subtract, multiply, divide).

14. Select a peer to work with the student to give reminders as the student solves their math problems.

15. Make sure the student knows why they are learning a math concept. Give the student concrete examples and chances for them to apply those ideas in real-life situations.

16. Get the student to check their math assignments using a calculator to reinforce the memorization of math facts.

18. Give operational sign practice using apps or a hand-held educational device that gives instant feedback to the student.

19. Make sure the student has mastery of math ideas at each level before introducing a new skill level.

20. Spotlight operational signs to draw the student’s attention to the signs before starting the operation.

21. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.

22. Try gamifying your math lessons.

23. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many math app lists:

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